A few notes today on what’s up with my personal diabetes regimen:
I restarted the Guardian RT continuous monitor a few days ago. I find that I have to take breaks because my poor belly is scarring up fast due to long-term OmniPod and other sensor wear. As a result, I’m getting many more frequent occlusion errors — which means a clog or blockage at the infusion site. In this case, it’s not a tubing or even cannula problem, just a problem of too much thick skin (scar tissue) in the areas where Pods and sensors actually stay on my body. I do wear the OmniPod on my arm in-between, but I haven’t yet figured out how to get the Guardian MiniLink sensor placed there. And here’s why:
The most gi-normous needle I have poked into myself since getting diabetes (or ever). Not liking that thing! Also, see that big blue device in the background? That’s the inserter-doohickey. You have to hold it a pretty exact 45-degree angle to get that big fat needle in right. How do people manage to use this inserter succesfully on their own shoulders or back, I wonder? I might need to call my friend’s husband, the ICU nurse, to help me out here.
btw, the Medtronic folks requested that I note they have customizable early warning alarms to prevent highs and lows, too, just like Abbott’s new Navigator (finally coming to market later this year). The Guardian gives you a choice of up to 30min. in advance, with alerts that can be set for 5 min. increments. There’s also a snooze function, that works just like the one on your alarm clock. Sometimes I think the finer details of certain features are more important to the engineers than the patients, no?
In any case, have I mentioned the Apidra? Yup, I started on Sanofi’s new faster fast-acting insulin about two months ago. I “waited it out” since the first month was rough going for me — running high a lot in part due to illness and infection. Now that things have settled down, I still have to honestly report that I haven’t noticed any dramatic differences in my post-meal BG levels. What has changed, however, is how rapidly the corrections kick in, which is a nice plus. I won’t be going back to “slower” insulin any time soon (unless I run out of money — all that surplus Novolog is still chillin’ in my fridge).
And here’s something neat: I discovered that my little Securitee Blanket insulin cover is just the perfect size for the Apidra vial! Very handy. Although I really do wonder if it hasn’t occurred to Sanofi how potentially dangerous it is to make Lantus and Apidra vials the exact same size and shape. I almost mixed them up more than once.
I’m still loving the OmniPod, except for aforementioned occlusion issues — a problem that plagues all pumpers at times, I suppose. Oh, and that episode about 10 days ago when my PDM suddenly died just as I was attempting to bolus in a tiny little chic French creperie in San Francisco. When I say “die” I mean it let out a piercing beep that wouldn’t stop and flashed a message to call Customer Support asap. No delivery – Yipes! Of course I had no backup supplies along.
Luckily, all we’d ordered was a salmon & feta cheese omelette with salad, so I figured I’d be OK until we got home. Except for the beeping. No matter how many times I pushed buttons, it just wouldn’t stop. “Is that you, Mom? Is that still you?!” my 10-year-old daughter asked sheepishly, as the persnickety French cafe owner glared us down. I yanked the battery, ate fast, and drove home like a demon.
Thus, the rediscovery of my Securitee Blanket to start carrying extra insulin and supplies around, even when I’m not officially travelling. You just never know. Insulet did FedEx me a new PDM right quick, I might add. Still, lesson learned.
Thus, this week’s seven words of wisdom for people with diabetes:
Eat carefully. Test your sugar. CARRY BACKUPS.